Sunday, August 27, 2006, the sun beats down steadily but not oppressively on the streets of Pamplona. It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon in Spain, the kind of day siestas were made for.
The traffic on the streets—if you can call the occasional car “traffic”—is also lazy, relaxed and unhurried, with one exception. A silver van speeds down the avenue, pausing only briefly before shooting through a red light.
In the back of the van a young girl is spread out across the seat, her head cradled in her mother’s arms. “I need you to breathe, Allison!” the woman says. “Keep breathing!” But Allison is breathing, the deep breathing that’s past sleep, the coma from which she will not wake up. Or perhaps she has already awakened; perhaps, somewhere between the house and the hospital, her soul slipped away from the presence of her panicked parents and into the calm presence of her Father.
The sun shines on a lazy afternoon in Pamplona as the girl’s parents speed down the road toward the end of their world.
So begins Luke Veldt’s Written in Tears. That young girl was Allison Veldt, Luke’s thirteen year-old daughter. This book is a journey through the aftermath of that sudden, shocking, unexpected death. Left reeling after Allison died, Veldt found himself looking for answers and for comfort in the words of the Bible. Despite being a pastor and church planter, a man who knows his Bible well, he was still surprised by what he found in God’s Word. As he says in the opening pages of his book, “It took the death of my daughter for me to begin to understand the love of God.”
After Allison’s death, Veldt turned to Psalm 103 and he read it again and again. He read it every day for more than a year. And through that psalm he experienced God’s presence. This book, a short but powerful little volume, shares many of the lessons the Lord taught him through his grief.